For background, see Luke Money‘s excellent coverage in the Times, starting with this January 29 article on the Lawsuit and continuing with this article on the February 13 hearing. You can also download selected pleadings in the case from our Archive.Org site.
Last week Judge Carter issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting Orange County, the City of Anaheim, and anyone else who might be minded to do so from arresting anyone on the bed of the Santa Ana River for trespassing, camping, and similar anti-homeless offenses. Prior to this, on February 4, in the order setting the fast-approaching February 13 hearing1 on the plaintiffs’ original application for a restraining order, Carter invited a broad range of non-parties to appear at Tuesday’s hearing:
The Court also welcomes attendance at the hearing and written briefing by any amicus groups, which may include veterans’ organizations, service providers, abused women’s protection and housing organizations, and other cities affected by the homelessness crisis in Orange County that are not named as Defendants in this case.
Well, beginning last Friday and continuing on through tonight, a number of amicus briefs were filed. You can find a list and links to the actual pleadings after the break. Also, although I’m not really committing myself to covering every aspect of this case, it’s been really interesting so far, so I went ahead and set up a page on the Archive to collect pleadings.
- February 9, 2018 Amicus brief — filed by the Public Law Center jointly with the Kennedy Commission. Makes a detailed argument for a restraining order by arguing persuasively that there is vastly insufficient housing in Orange County in which to place the people who would be evicted.
- February 9, 2018 Amicus Letter — Filed by the Legal Aid Sociey of Orange County. Makes the case that even if enough shelter beds to serve the people living on the riverbed were available in Orange County, it’s a fact that many of the people living there are disabled. Even, therefore, if there are numerically sufficient beds, unless those beds can accommodate all the disabled people to be evicted from the riverbed, there won’t actually be enough.
- February 9, 2018 application to appear as amicus — Filed by the ACLU of Southern California asking leave to appear as an amicus and asking leave to file their report, entitled Nowhere to Live: The Homeless Crisis in Orange County & How to End It. I’m not sure why the ACLU has to ask permission from all the parties to appear2 when it seems that the judge invited appearances. Maybe because they’re not directly a homeless-serving organization?
- February 11, 2018 Amicus letter — Filed by Collette’s Children’s Home,3 which serves homeless women and children in Orange County. As did some of the above amici, Collette’s argues in favor of the injunction by providing detailed data and lived experience proving that there are in no way sufficiently many shelter beds available to house the people living on the riverbed.
So the next big thing, of course, is Tuesday’s hearing on a restraining order. My guess is that the court will issue such an order. Unfortunately I have other commitments, so cannot attend. I imagine something will hit PACER by Tuesday night and I’ll get it right out to you.
Image of Dorothy Day is ©2018 MichaelKohlhaas.Org and is a transformative use of this little beauty right here.
- The hearing is on Tuesday, February 13, 2018, at 8 a.m. in David O. Carter’s court in the Ronald Reagan Federal Building, United States Courthouse, 411 West Fourth Street, Santa Ana, CA, 92701, 9th Floor, Courtroom 9D.
- That part of the application is funny and tragic, as they have to describe in detail how they called all the defense attorneys, who generally wouldn’t answer, and then the defense attorneys objected to their appearance. I’m exaggerating for the sake of drama, by the way. For the most part the defense attorneys did not object or oppose. In fact, it seems that only the City of Orange opposes the ACLU’s appearance, with all other parties not objecting, mostly because the judge invited amici.
- Click on that link with severe trepidation, as it’s going to blast you with audio like it was 1994 all over again.